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9mm Defensive ammo question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by hackercat13, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    Hello all!

    I am trying to decide on 1 type of defensive ammo for my 9mm. This is my primary home defense weapon. It is a Ruger P94, so +P ammo is not a problem.

    I keep hearing about hollow points not expanding because of clothing, and alot of other confusing info, and I could use a hand.

    I have it pretty well narrowed down to:

    124gr Federal Hydra-shok
    124gr Remington Golden Sabre JHP
    115gr Winchester Silvertip
    125gr Cor-Bon JHP

    I am leaning a bit towards the Golden Sabre, but am not brand-loyal to any of these, and all are available readily in my local area.

    Please share your experiences and/or opinions, especially any real-world testing or examples. I'd love to hear from anyone in law enforcement, and what they think of these choices.

    No .45 snobs please! I know .45 rocks/rules/is-the-only-way-to-go. I have a 9mm, and need help finding a good defensive load.

    Thanks a ton!
    Chris
     
  2. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    I carry Glaser Pow'rBall in all my carry guns (.380, 9mm, and .40S&W). Its shape ensures it feeds as well as FMJ in any gun and the "ball" is used a a penetrator (windshields, heavy clothing. etc.) to prevent fouling that would inhibit expansion in soft tissue. I use to alternate Pow'rBall and Hornady Critical Defense within a single magazine, but after some range evaluation, I decided against it (They recoiled differently, and it affected my accuracy)

    No "real world" experience on my part (luckily) to relate, but the ballistics forensics are pretty solid.

    FWIW-It's hard to go wrong with any of the modern PD ammo...they all work pretty well. My major concern is "will it fire reliably when it counts." Some pistols are more finicky about JHP's than others. Make sure you have confidence in the round you're using...confidence in the ballistic performance, but reliability in your particular firearm is far more important IMO.
     
  3. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    I hadn't considered pow'rBall, may have to research it a bit. Yes, reliability, especially for your firearm is important. Both my 9mm s are Ruger (P94, P85), big horkin metal beasts that have eaten any and all ammo I have fed 'em. Thanks for your input!
    Chris
     
  4. supergenius

    supergenius 206 Active Member

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    Ranger T +p+ 127Gr in my 9mm for SD rounds. From what i found researching, its what I chose after a bunch of reading and watching vids. wouldnt mind some +p+ HST either



    Hornady Critical defense and HST in my 40
     
  5. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    Are the Ranger +p rounds for law enforcement only?
     
  6. supergenius

    supergenius 206 Active Member

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    Ive had no problems finding it at local gunshows.... Surplus ammo for 1 ;O)
     
  7. supergenius

    supergenius 206 Active Member

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  8. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    I think the lower amount of powder (lower velocity) and smaller grain round has me a bit leery of Cor Bon DPX, maybe Speer Gold Dot is going to be the way to go. Any other suggestions or opinions?
     
  9. twa2471

    twa2471 Vermont Active Member

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    I personally like Silver Tips and gold dots, those are my go-to's when I reload, I too have never had the opertunity find out first hand, but they perform well in the tests I've put them through. I do wet tel books, water traps,rows of water filled milk jugs, and when I think I got a good load I spring for a jelitin block. I've seen some good reports on frangibles and they seem to me to be the way to go in cutting down on collateral. I haven't had a chance to experiment yet, but I'm going to try them next 9mm reloading session. Myself why mess with perfection for defense, 45 auto w/ 230 hp will stop a raging bull, my go to !!! Thats what I had in Nam and from first hand experiance THEY WORK!!! BIG TIME !!!
     
  10. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

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    Here's some reading to help you decide:

    Terminal Ballistic Information

    Dr. Gary Roberts is a widely recognized expert in the field of terminal ballistics and the info in that thread can be found stickied at a number of different forums. There is no magic bullet but the rounds he lists have been extensively tested and are proven performers.

    Of the rounds you have mentioned considering the Gold Dot is probably the best choice. I would also recommend seeing if you can't get a line on any of the Winchester or Federal LE offerings. These rounds are restricted to LE by company policy, not law, so if you look around you can often find some. Like supergenius mentioned, I've had good luck getting both from surplus arms & ammo in the past.
     
  11. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    Wow, thanks Dutchy556! That's some good reading, and a secondary link in there is excellent too! Much appreciated.
    Chris
     
  12. twa2471

    twa2471 Vermont Active Member

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    kodos, Real good artical. I can't agree more about the pratice and a well set up gun. I don't even want to think about the $ I've spent on my 45 to get it up to snuff. and it dosn't look "tac cool" eather. All the good stuff is on the inside hiding. Just no rattle and the compensator is all that give it away, and I could spend anouther grand on it to make it perfect. But it do's indeed pass the qualifications listed in the artical without going further. After all I'm an old boy with weaking eyes and not deep pockets, so much more would be a waste, any difichencies are MINE at this point.
     
  13. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    The redundency and practice ae big parts of my routine. I have 2 Ruger 9mms, a P94 and a P85. Both are very similar, almost identical in where controlls are located, and size. There are sweeter shooters out there, and certainly lighter pistols, but I love my heavy steel beasts. I'd have 2 of the same if someone wanted to trade one for the other.

    1000 rounds through 1, and 500 through the other, and never a FTF, FTE or failure to return to battery, and I have fired some godawful ammo through them! I'd bet my life on them going 'bang' every time, and in my ability to handle my weapon. Now I am just looking for my ammo of choice, and it sounds like any of a few brands would do fine. I will buy a box of each, make sure it fires straight and true, then buy a bunch of it.
    Chris
     
  14. twa2471

    twa2471 Vermont Active Member

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    That's why I reload, it's hard to find the right combo of load, bullet and accy. from factory ammo. I'm on my second barrel , trigger group + bushing on my 45, plus retightened and lapping of the slide. But I love my big old Springfield, no second guessing with that one, I've had it for more that 20 years and as many thousands of rounds through it probibly. I set it up for target shooting originally and when I had younger eyes 1 hole 50 yard groups were easy, now, not so much !!! What causes that ??? DOOOOOOOE !! I've also got a Ruger,P 89 I like pretty well, never done anything to it but grips,but it shoots well and fits my hand well with no FTF or FTE's. Not my 45, but acceptible combat accy and relilibility by anyones standards.
     
  15. hackercat13

    hackercat13 Steilacoom, WA Active Member

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    Yeah, my bad, I guess that is scooting along! 115 grain round seems a bit small for a defensive load. But CorBon's JHP, a very popular defensive round is also 115 grain. Man, tough choice, and I guess there is no real "right" answer...
     
  16. twa2471

    twa2471 Vermont Active Member

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    The only right answer is what works well in your firearm and what gun YOU shoot well with. After all even a 22 will work if it's between the eyes !!! Right ? Sounds like your doing the right stuff on your end, there are some really good things on Ytube for tactics and and proper tequniques, one in particular would be Rob Dinkus of ICC Training. This guy knows his stuff and has many great pointers. Also there are many links to other sights related with his vidios, check him out, it's worth while taking a look, he covers alot of subjects in his vids. I know that I found alot of things I was doing wrong, and by following his tequniques I improved not only my speed but accy. as well.
     
  17. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Winchester PDX-1 is the new ammo the FBI and a lot of law enforcement agencies have adopted. Personally, I'm fairly convinced multiple .45ACP holes will do a good enough job. And using the same ammo as law enforcement will cover liability concerns. I imagine the same precepts would apply to 9mm as well.
     
  18. Crispy

    Crispy WA Member

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    +1 No question on my end about Gold Dot, this is what I carry whenever I carry a 9MM. Wish I could find some 9MM HST cause that is what the locals LEO's carry...... but I have no concerns carrying Gold Dot.
     
  19. AASLTsgt

    AASLTsgt TACOMA Member

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    I know Fiochhi goes against all the gun nazi's but in all my weapons it has been my go to fail safe also hornady TAP is amazing ammo. I have a PF 9 and a Ruger P95 both practically request by name. IMO CORBON does seem alot more comfortable to shoot but for me going from double action magnum's to auto pistols i still prefer FIOCHHI especially XTP JHP great ammo I notice that it feeds amazingly and a smoother recoil. I don't have much experience shooting gelatin but I do regularly do what i like to call the double armor test (one sheet covered in clothing material with a 4-6 inch space then another metal sheet) i've seen the best results actually from hornady CD and previously mentioned RANGER but personally ranger gives quite a kick and the occassional FTF FTE.
    Thus my choosing Fiocchi and hornady. Remember in a perfect world it takes only one shot but in our world to there is a difference between "stopping" an attacker and rendering them "harmless" which usually means more than one shot.:thumbup:
     
  20. supergenius

    supergenius 206 Active Member

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    Hmmm never had a FTF/E of any kind woth it... What gun did you have trouble with? Im used to shooting 40 and 45, the 9+P+ is mellow to me. I can dump pretty damn fast and hold nice groups...